Casting Conflict of Interest

Policy

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to help casting panels engaged by Be You Inc to effectively identify, disclose and manage any actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest in order to protect the integrity of Be You Inc and manage risk. It is to be read in line with Be You Inc’s Conflict of Interest policy, the ACNC’s Managing Conflicts of Interest guide, and Be You Inc’s Diversity & Inclusion Policy

2. Objective 

The Be You Inc board (called the ‘board’ in this policy) aims to ensure that casting panels are aware of their obligations to disclose any conflicts of interest that they may have, and to comply with this policy to ensure they effectively manage those conflicts of interest as representatives of Be You Inc. 

3. Scope 

This policy applies to the members of a casting panel engaged by Be You Inc. 

4. Definition of conflicts of interests 

A conflict of interest occurs when a person’s personal interests conflict with their responsibility to act in the best interests of the charity and the project being cast. Personal interests include direct interests as well as those of family, friends, or other organisations a person may be involved with or have an interest in (for example, as a shareholder). It also includes a conflict between a casting panel members’ duty to Be You Inc and another duty that they have (for example, to another organisation or show). A conflict of interest may be actual, potential or perceived and may be financial or non-financial. 

These situations present the risk that a person will make a decision based on, or affected by, these influences, rather than in the best interests of the charity and must be managed accordingly. 

In a casting context, these conflict of interest may take the form of:

  • A panel member having taught the auditionee in the past while in the employ of a school, for more than one lesson or more than sporadically;

  • There has been a relationship with the auditionee in the past where the panel member had power over them (for example, has directed them in another show);

  • The auditionee has previously or currently paid a panel member for services rendered (for example, as a singing teacher);

  • The panel member has helped the auditionee through the process (provided coaching, song choices etc) that could be perceived as giving them inside knowledge;

  • The panel member and auditionee would objectively be considered friends (ie they meet up regularly in groups or solo, they message each other on social media etc);

  • The panel member has previously seen the panel member perform and has followed their career in a public way (as in you may draw links between the panel member and the auditionee through their public social media interactions);

  • The panel member has trained or worked with an auditionee as a peer in class or in a show, or any work in or out of the performing arts industry;

 

It is the responsibility of each person on the casting panel to disclose and manage any of the actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest above, and share judgements with the panel to make an ultimate group decision on how to manage them. This policy applies to any conflicts within the casting panel, as there may be a relationship where someone may wish to agree with a fellow panel member - this should be managed by the whole panel.

The Casting Director and casting team will be considered to have worked closely enough with all auditionees to only have to disclose actual conflicts of interest, as it is reasonable to assume that they would have potential and perceived conflicts as part of their day-to-day work.

5. Policy 

This policy has been developed because conflicts of interest often arise, and do not need to present a problem to the casting process if they are openly and effectively managed. It is the policy of Be You Inc as well as a responsibility of the board, that ethical, legal, financial or other conflicts of interest be avoided and that any such conflicts (where they do arise) do not conflict with the casting panel’s obligations to Be You Inc. 

Be You Inc will manage conflicts of interest by requiring casting panel members to: 

  • avoid conflicts of interest where possible 

  • identify and disclose any conflicts of interest 

  • carefully manage any conflicts of interest, and 

  • follow this policy and respond to any breaches. 

Procedure

 

Introduction

The purpose of this procedure is to lay out how the above policy will be applied to an audition setting. This is in no way an exhaustive list of steps to take, though is a bare minimum. This process assumes a first round audition will be by video submission, though can be applied to in-person auditions by asking panel members to leave the audition room.

Process

If you declare a conflict of interest at any stage throughout this process, there will be no point in which this conflict of interest will be lifted. If there is any confusion as to whether a conflict of interest may change, the interested party must have permission from the CEO to change it.

 

Before receiving applications

  • If any member of the casting panel would like to invite someone to audition, their details should be given to the Casting Director to invite on their behalf. This will put the panel member and auditionee at arms’ length and does not create a perceived conflict for the auditionee.

  • There will be no pre-casting of a show or project, and as such any views panel members have about wanting a particular cast member for a particular role must be disclosed before receiving applications, as this will allow for transparency for the rest of the panel members.

 

Applications close

  • Upon receipt of applications, panel members are to disclose any conflicts based on the name of participants alone. 

  • If identified, panel members are not to watch the auditionee’s first audition. They may provide a reference for the auditionee directly to the Casting Director which may be used if there is a need to break a tie in future. They are not allowed to make this reference known to the rest of the panel and must recuse themselves from all discussions (whether simply not speaking, or leaving the room - where appropriate).

  • All conflicts must be disclosed to the whole panel transparently.

 

Call back

  • If video call backs are used, the above applies.

  • In person, all panel members must declare their conflict of interests to the room (where appropriate to do so, as it would be expected in a small group but not expected in a dance call). This should take the form of “I am conflicting out of discussions about NAME because REASON”. Each panel member should have a turn in disclosing.

  • If a panel member is conflicted out of discussing all people in the room, they must leave the room at this point.

 

Casting

  • We consider it appropriate for all panel members to be in the room when discussing the casting of a show, as they will have declared all conflicts until this point.

  • The panel will decide how best to manage the casting process when discussing a conflict of interest, though the person conflicted out may not try to influence or coerce the panel in any way, verbally or otherwise. 

  • It may be appropriate to ask the conflicted person to leave the room. 

  • The Casting Director may break any ties at this point using the feedback provided by conflicted panel members.

  • If there becomes a situation where there is a deadlock and not enough panel members are without a conflict of interest to discuss in a meaningful way, the Casting Director may make the final decision on casting. If this point is reached, all panel members, conflicted or not, may appeal to the Casting Director and speak freely about their reasoning. The Casting Director’s decision is final.

 

If after casting the show it becomes apparent that a conflict of interest was not declared and should have been, and as a result has undermined the integrity of the process, the panel member will be asked to resign from any further involvement in the project, and will be barred from taking part in future projects with Be You Inc.

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